Let's Go Places in Arizona: Sunset Crater National Monument

Posted at 4:01 PM, Sep 18, 2017
and last updated 2019-03-29 15:26:18-04

When you think of Arizona, you don’t think of volcanoes.

For this Let's Go Places in Arizona adventure, we traveled to Sunset Crater Volcano. This impressive landmark is smack dab in the San Francisco Volcanic Field. It erupted over 1,000 years ago, but it’s still considered to be the youngest volcano on the Colorado Plateau.

Powerful explosions changed the landscape and ecology of this area forever, and the red and orange colored rim is a constant reminder of its destructive past.

Of course, it’s dormant now, and that’s a good thing!

The rim of the crater was closed in 1973 because of erosion by hikers, but Lava Flow Trail takes you right up to the base, and it’s an easy hike for the whole family.

You don’t need to hike to the rim to appreciate the power of Mother Nature. Just drive to any overlook, and you can catch a breathtaking view from just the parking lot.